Monthly Archives: January 2013

Musings of a Disturbed Individual

Lobster plate

Lobster plate (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sometimes I find myself…no, let me backup. Usually I find myself thinking unusual and off-the-wall thoughts. Like the other day, after an extended period of rain, I noticed the backyard was covered in birds. As I looked closer, I could see they were feasting on the bounty of earthworms that had been flushed from their homes from the rain we had received.

Now I’ll have to say this made me wonder: If I were an earthworm, would I rather drown or be pecked and eaten alive? I’ve heard that after the initial shock of not being able to breathe, drowning is a peaceful way to go. There’s no reliable information on what it’s like to be pecked to death, so I believe that after considering both avenues, I would choose drowning.

My final thought on this all-important subject: Worms are stupid.

Have you ever (and I know you have) picked up a piece of food too hot to handle and then tossed it into your mouth? After experiencing the head bob and weave, the absurd gyrations, the sucking and blowing of air, and the second degree burns, I have one question: why do you do it time and time again? Notice I left myself out of the equation. I’m allowed to because it’s my blog.

This next one affects a large portion of the population: arachnophobia. Please don’t take offense at my comments, for everyone is afraid of something. But have you ever noticed the reaction when a spider the size of a pin head lowers itself onto someone with this phobia? The only thing I can compare it to is a grand mal seizure, except much more amusing to watch. Please attempt to keep the victim from injuring themselves as they flail their arms wildly while keeping your own self safe.

Case in point: I have two young men in my family. One is large, strong and could pound the average person into the ground. The other is much smaller but practices mixed martial arts. Now both of these individuals employ their wives when it comes to killing spiders, bugs and other creepy crawlies that may enter their “safe space.”

Shellfish have always fascinated me. Some crawl, some lay in the mud and some bivalves use a squirt of water to propel themselves. They’re also tasty to eat. In fact, just like Will Rogers said about people, I never met a shellfish I didn’t like. However, for the life of me, I cannot understand how someone could have opened a raw oyster and decided that a salty ball of snot would be something they would want to eat. I am, of course, one of the ones who do.

I have come to the conclusion that writing and shellfish go hand in hand. What could be better than reading a 300-page manuscript and eating a fifteen-ounce lobster drenched in butter with a side of fried shrimp, steamed clams and a dozen or so oyster shots?

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Monkey See, Monkey Do

English: dave 59 took it myself at the Orang r...

Orangutan rehabilitation centre, Buket Lawang, Sumatra. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Take time to consider what some call our closest cousins, the Great Apes. They are said to be only one DNA strand away from walking upright, wearing suits and trading stocks. I don’t know. It seems to me that even though some people can exhibit ape like behavior, I feel no kinship with a ball of fuzz that swings from tree to tree, hoots and howls and shows off its rear end, which resembles one big hemorrhoid.

In order to give this notion credence (if there is any to be had) we will explore some of the similarities between the two.

Take the Orangutan: An orange, fat-cheeked knuckle dragger, intelligent enough to sit in a truck and signal a right turn. Now I personally know more than one person who can accomplish this task plus slug down a beer. Score: Man 1, Ape 0.

We move next to the chimpanzee. If old movies are any indication, they like to wear cute little dresses, ride tricycles and perform to adoring crowds on TV and the stage. When they are grown, however, they find pleasure in ripping human faces from their moorings, eating their other ape buddies and in some cases retiring to a palatial Hollywood estate, where they swill beer and watch soaps.

Cute little dresses, tricycles, television, beer and soap operas all belong to the human race, leaving face ripping and cannibalism to the cute little chimps. Score: Man 2, Ape 0.

Now for the Gorilla, a larger version of chimpanzee only not as violent. I encountered one such individual in a mid-western zoo, who I immediately named “Recycle”. This primate could have been the poster-child for the Green Movement. No doubt I had entered the exhibit during feeding time, as Recycle was busy chowing down on the grass-laden turds he himself had produced. He would extract them fresh from the source, and deposit them in his tooth-filled facial orifice. Yum.

‘Nuff said. Man 3, Ape 0.

To conclude this post, I would be remiss if I did not mention the crap-throwing lesser apes, otherwise known as monkeys.

Now to really conclude this post, as I am want to do, I usually find a way to tie this into writing. This post is no different. However, the lesson I seek to impart is simple: Enjoy what you write. I’ve had a blast writing this little vignette about apes and feces.

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Check it Out! Part 3

I and my book were featured on another blog a few months back. Thanks to the wonderful Barbara Barth for writing about my working and taking the time to share it with her followers. Follow the link and give it a read here.

And while you’re at it, head on over to Barbara’s page and read her other excellent content:

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Even a Busted Typewriter is Mighter Than a Dull Pencil

I’d like to share with you the story of how I became an author. It began on a cold and dreary night. The rain was falling like cats and dogs…

Rising Tide by Lynn Steigleder

Rising Tide by Lynn Steigleder

Wait a minute. Wrong story.

Let me try again. In November of 2006, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Two months later, I was informed that my department at work was closing and I was soon to be among the unemployed. Fortunately, it would take the better part of a year to transition my department’s work load to the new vendor.

Each spring, my son and I would take our annual fishing trip to Cape Hatteras. It was on one of these excursions that my son happened to mention that I should try writing after reading a few of my short stories.

The thought intrigued me. So much, in fact, that I began penning short stories as soon as I returned from our trip. After several months of writing, I began what would become my first novel, Rising Tide. I completed the raw manuscript in September of 2008 with much help from my wife and son. They are both avid readers and were nearly as valuable as a good editor.

After another six months of intense rewrites, edits and throwing errant objects against the wall, I finally had what I believed to be a completed manuscript. It was ready for the publisher and my adoring public, paving the way to fame and fortune.

Little did I know that publishers don’t like to publish books. And if by chance they do happen to accept your manuscript, you’re thrown into a bin with a quarter of a million other authors who were published that year.

By the grace of God, I found a publisher who would accept unsolicited manuscripts. After nine weeks, I received a contract and over the next year, completed my first novel.

The next rude awakening was that the marketing of the book fell (almost) entirely on my shoulders. After making contact with thousands of newspapers, magazines, book clubs, book stores and any other entity I felt could sell my book, I’m still busy marketing after three years.

Through this experience, I’ve met some of the nicest people that sincerely want to help advance sales of my book. But by the same token, I’ve run into a few that live thousands of miles away yet seem to despise me personally. For what reason, I cannot comprehend. Maybe they’re just very unhappy. I think I’ll say a prayer for them.

The best advice I can give is to take rejection with a pulverized grain of salt. Keep writing even if it’s just one sentence a day. And never, ever give up.

Looks like I don’t have to tie this post into writing.

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